Japan’s debt stood at a record-high ¥1.053 quadrillion ($8.78 trillion) at the end of March, the Finance Ministry said Friday, increasing pressure on the government to take further austerity measures.
The ministry also projected the debt would reach ¥1.167 quadrillion by the end of fiscal 2015 next March, reflecting the need to finance ballooning social security costs with state debt as the population rapidly grays.
The latest figure tops the previous record of ¥1.039 quadrillion set in June last year and was more than double Japan’s nominal gross domestic product in 2014, which was ¥488 trillion. Japan’s fiscal health is the worst among the major developed economies.
The result consisted of ¥881.5 trillion in Japanese government bonds, ¥55.0 trillion in borrowing, mainly from financial institutions, and ¥116.9 trillion in financing bills, or short-term government notes up to six months.
As of March 31, per capita debt — or the amount owed per person — was about ¥8.30 million. Japan’s population stood at around 126.9 million as of April 1.
The government releases fiscal data every three months, compiled according to International Monetary Fund standards.